Patio Doors: To Slide Or To Swing, That Is The Question


Getting the right look and feel for your home can be a chore, and this is as true for patio doors as it is for any other part of your home. It’s hard enough picking out patio doors that will go well with the existing look and feel of the rest of your home; when you throw in other considerations, not quite obscure but certainly not readily apparent, it can be enough to make you tear your hair out in frustration. If you’re looking for a little help picking out patio doors for your home, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Energy Efficiency

In terms of general energy efficiency, hinged French-style patio doors do better than sliding patio doors hands-down. With your typical two-panel sliding door setup, even with the door slid open all the way, all you really have open is half the available doorway space. This means that, if you’re counting on the door to help you bleed off excess heat and let in the breeze, you’re only letting in half as much wind as you could be.

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Hinged doors, on the other hand, are great for increasing the amount of ventilation into your home. With both door panels open, you know you’re letting in as much of the breeze as your doorway will allow. If controlling your heating and cooling is a major factor for you, then you’re probably better off with a hinged patio door.


This is where the differences between the two door styles really become significant. Sliding patio doors work well if you have a need to “save” space: because they operate on and stay on rails, there is no need to make allowances for the empty space that an otherwise hinged door would be swinging through when you open and close it. With a sliding door, you can plan and position your furniture where you want without needing to consider how they might block the door.

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Hinged doors, however, will always have a wider aperture than a sliding door would. This means that if the size or volume of items or people moving through the doorway are a consideration, then you’re better off with a hinged door. While you can take a sliding door off its hinges to accommodate the occasional large object, having to regularly do so pretty much defeats the purpose of getting a sliding door in the first place.


One last consideration is the general look of the door, and how it fits in with the rest of your home. In general, French-style hinged patio doors go well with a more traditional style of home, while sliding doors do better with a more modern aesthetic.

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It’s worth considering that a sliding door can be made largely out of glass, unlike a French door. This allows you to frame and emphasize the view outside the door much better. While hinged doors can be opened to see more, sliding glass doors enable the view both closed and open, allowing you to enjoy your vista without having to expose yourself to the elements.


Author Bio:

Tracy is “the man” when it comes to coordinating the many facets of producing and installing our Renewal by Andersen® replacement windows and doors in homes throughout the Dallas and Ft. Worth region. He is a wizard at making sure the right windows and doors get to the right place, at the right time, in the hands our experience installation crews. With Tracy on the job you know that your window and door installation is going to run like clockwork!


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